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Chrysler Investing Nearly $400 Mil, Creating 1,250 Indiana Jobs

Factory to add new 9-speed automatic transmission.

by on Feb.28, 2013

Chrysler will add 1,250 jobs in Kokomo to build its new 9-speed automatic transmission.

Chrysler plans to invest nearly $400 million and create 1,250 new jobs at two plants near Kokomo, Indiana.

It’s the latest in a series of investments by the maker that has resulted in the creation of 8,000 more new positions since Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. The new project also protects the jobs of another 3,400 jobs in Kokomo, a hub of automotive parts manufacturing.

“Chrysler’s future and the future of North Central Indiana are tied together, and that future has never looked brighter,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, following the announcement by Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

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In his own comments, Marchionne pointed out that Kokomo is the only place in the world where Chrysler produces transmissions – though it does “outsource” some from suppliers like Germany’s ZF.


Chrysler Pulling Ahead Introduction Of 8-Speed Transmissions

Maker will invest nearly $100 million in project.

by on Dec.15, 2010

The next-generation Chrysler 300 sedan will be one of the first models to get the maker's new 8-speed gearbox which is being rushed into production.

Chrysler Group LLC has disclosed it plans to pull ahead the production of 8-speed transmissions that will replace aging gearbox designs and help the maker meet strict new fuel economy standards.

The automaker has confirmed that it is looking to invest another $85 million in its Kokomo Transmission Plant (KTP) for a variety of powertrain improvements.

Chrysler Group notified city officials of the potential new investment at the Dec. 13, 2010, Kokomo City Council meeting. At the same meeting, Chrysler Group also requested the transfer of the previously approved tax abatement certificate on the announced $300 million investment from Indiana Transmission Plant to KTP to facilitate the production of the next generation eight-speed transmission.

“We’re moving eight-speed production to KTP because we’re pulling production ahead and the timing worked better at KTP,” said Brian Harlow, Vice President and Head of Powertrain Manufacturing, Chrysler Group LLC. “This move opens up space at ITPI to prepare the plant for production of the front-wheel drive transmission, which we announced in November,” he said.

The expansion is slated for early completion, suggesting the 8-speed transmission could be ready for distribution in the second half of 2012.

It is unclear exactly how widely the maker will apply the new technology.  The new gearboxes will clearly cost more than the four, five and six-speed transmissions used elsewhere.  But the new 8-speed also could save money, in the long-run, by delivering a significant – and immediate – boost in mileage.  Like its competitors, Chrysler is struggling to ensure it can meet the government’s 35 mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy target set for 2016.

At the same meeting meeting, the Kokomo City Council also approved Chrysler Group’s tax abatement application on the $843 million investment for production of the front-wheel drive transmission.

“We are grateful to Mayor Goodnight and the Kokomo City Council for their continued support of Chrysler Group,” said Harlow. “These investments demonstrate our commitment to this community and our workforce. We look forward to continuing a partnership that will secure Kokomo’s position as the center of our powertrain strategy.”

Alfa Romeo And Jeep To Team Up At Italian Assembly Plant

Planned $1.4 billion investment follows news of $843 mil Chrysler investment in Indiana.

by on Nov.26, 2010

Marchionne planning to build Jeeps in Italy.

Chrysler and its Italian ally Fiat plan to team up in a European manufacturing venture that will expand the Jeep presence overseas.

Sergio Marchionne, who serves as CEO for both Chrysler and Fiat, says his company will invest $1.4 billion in the Mirafiori plant, in Turin, to permit the production of Jeep and Alfa-Romeo sport-utility vehicles.

The move could help Fiat achieve one of the critical benchmarks set by the Obama Administration as part of the Chrysler bailout last year.  Fiat currently holds a 20% stake in the long-troubled American maker.  Each of three key goals will boost that stake by 5%, including the requirement to boost Chrysler’s overseas sales.

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But expanding cooperation between Fiat and Chrysler is critical for both companies to achieve the necessary sales volumes and economies of scale that Marchionne believes are necessary to compete in today’s global auto industry.  The Fiat brand is making a comeback in the U.S., after a two-decade absence, with next month’s launch of its 500 microcar.